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Watching the odds change: Baseball Prospectus’s’s Playoff Odds and the 2012 New York Mets

So, last night, R.A. Dickey was knocked out of his astral plane and the world is a worse place for it (stupid Yankees). The Mets took 1 of 3 against the Yankees, mostly because their bullpen is terrible. I’d link to a facts, but when your bullpen combines to lose 17 games before July, I lose the will to finish sentences.

But I don’t like bad news; I like good news, because of confirmation bias and a slew of other behavioral problems I have. And so, I’d like to draw your attention to Baseball Prospectus’ Playoff Odds Report. Read the rest of this entry »

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How do people decide what they like? Atlanta commute with and without train tracks and decision under risk and uncertainty.

So I’m trying to put something together here with some coauthors and I thought it might be useful to put down some really back-of-the-envelope thoughts to see if I can get some of this articulated, as well as any comments or criticisms anybody might like to offer.

The question I/we are grappling with is this: how do people decide what they like?

The anecdote that got me interested in this particular question is this: when I lived in Atlanta, I would regularly (2x a week) have to drive from my friends’ house in Clarkston, where my daughter would stay for the day, to the train station at Edgewood/Candler Park. There are two routes between the two locations (clearly there are more, but let’s say there are two routes). One of the routes is shorter but has a set of train tracks across it. The other is longer, but manages to circumvent the train tracks by going under a railway bridge. Read the rest of this entry »

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